It is an age-old idea among the creative community that pain is necessary to create art. Artists boast that they have experienced pain, that they have suffered or are suffering from something.
Media perpetuates this trope. "E! True Hollywood Story" and "VH1 Behind the Music" highlight artists' rags-to-riches stories. Even fictional movies and TV shows portray struggling actors trying to make it — such as the character Penny on "The Big Bang Theory."
This can set up unhealthy ideals for students with majors in the arts. There is a pressure to experience pain, in order to prove that you are talented. However, meaningful art can be born from happiness and contentment.
Many times on competition shows before a contestant is about to perform, a clip featuring the person's sob story is shown, fostering the idea that only pain can inspire quality art.
These shows are exceptionally popular among young people, only reinforcing the idea among artists that success in the creative community comes from pain.
Many artists say themselves that it is their struggles that inspire their art. Take Kesha's newest album "Rainbow," for example, which was inspired by the horror she went through with her former producer.
There is not doubt that wonderful art could be derived from pain. As an artist, I too find making art to be therapeutic. Similar to other creatives, I have gone through struggles in my life, and it is performing which has often gotten me out of bed.